EPLC and Junior School
The introduction of the French language begins with our youngest learners at Albert College who are 2.5 years old. Daily instruction with a specialist teacher in a designated French classroom encourages a love for learning French and a foundation for further development. However, the ability of the French teacher to individualize the program enables children to join at any grade level and achieve success. Exceeding the provincial curriculum in every area, we aim to equip our students with a love of language, as well as living, flexible language skills that cross all subject boundaries.
Foundational skills are emphasized and developed in each grade with the goal of providing all students with tailored language framework on which to build proficiency and beyond. Our students are engaged through drama, song, and authentic speaking opportunities to develop strong oral skills. As they move through the grades, the duration of classes increase to a maximum of 45 minutes with an increased emphasis on writing and grammar. Use of technology also helps our students to develop strong second-language skills both in the classroom and at home.
The Middle School French program offers two pathways for exploring French - Core French and Enriched French. The Enriched French program is an option for students interested in pursuing fluency, as well as additional opportunities for extra-curricular engagement in French. The enriched program flows naturally from the rigorous Junior School French program advanced sections and provides an excellent avenue for growth beyond the scope of the traditional Core French credit. Students interested in the Enriched program are required to participate in an oral interview and brief written test, and should be prepared to make use of educational technology, as well as collaborate extensively via web 2.0 tools. Students enrolling in this program should strongly consider continuing their study of French past Grade 9 and throughout their post-secondary education. The regular Core French program offers similar opportunities for growth through progressive learning methods, but is a more modest challenge academically and closely follows the Ontario curriculum.
Learning Outside the Classroom
In the second term, the Middle School ventures to St. Donat, Quebec to experience French Canadian culture. Bilingualism and biculturalism are promoted and celebrated in this popular excursion, not to mention skiing and other outdoor sports. In addition, the Middle School enjoys lunch at a local French restaurant. Students put their classroom learning into action as they interact en français with the owner and his staff. Post meal interviews offer a further opportunity for students to put their learning into action.
Beginning in Grade 9, students will explore the French language with Pearson Publishing's recently released and superb Connexions resources. The Senior French program in its full span provides many opportunities for students to communicate and interact in French with increasing independence. Students will develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing and will apply creative and critical-thinking skills in various ways.
The program increases the understanding and appreciation of diverse French-speaking communities through student-driven investigations of francophone culture around the world. Students will develop the skills necessary for life-long language learning. Gradually, students will be exposed to extended opportunities to speak and interact in real-life situations in French independently through special off-campus outtings and overnight trips. Senior French students will hone computer and digital media skills as part of group work and individual projects. Opportunities for language acquisition outside of class will be increasingly presented, including a levelled reading program, summer camp and student exchange possibilities.